Freudian Quotes

Quotes tagged as "freudian" (showing 1-19 of 19)
“In the 1890s, when Freud was in the dawn of his career, he was struck by how many of his female patients were revealing childhood incest victimization to him. Freud concluded that child sexual abuse was one of the major causes of emotional disturbances in adult women and wrote a brilliant and humane paper called “The Aetiology of Hysteria.” However, rather than receiving acclaim from his colleagues for his ground-breaking insights, Freud met with scorn. He was ridiculed for believing that men of excellent reputation (most of his patients came from upstanding homes) could be perpetrators of incest.
Within a few years, Freud buckled under this heavy pressure and recanted his conclusions. In their place he proposed the “Oedipus complex,” which became the foundation of modern psychology. According to this theory any young girl actually desires sexual contact with her father, because she wants to compete with her mother to be the most special person in his life. Freud used this construct to conclude that the episodes of incestuous abuse his clients had revealed to him had never taken place; they were simply fantasies of events the women had wished for when they were children and that the women had come to believe were real. This construct started a hundred-year history in the mental health field of blaming victims for the abuse perpetrated on them and outright discrediting of women’s and children’s reports of mistreatment by men.
Once abuse was denied in this way, the stage was set for some psychologists to take the view that any violent or sexually exploitative behaviors that couldn’t be denied—because they were simply too obvious—should be considered mutually caused. Psychological literature is thus full of descriptions of young children who “seduce” adults into sexual encounters and of women whose “provocative” behavior causes men to become violent or sexually assaultive toward them.
I wish I could say that these theories have long since lost their influence, but I can’t. A psychologist who is currently one of the most influential professionals nationally in the field of custody disputes writes that women provoke men’s violence by “resisting their control” or by “attempting to leave.” She promotes the Oedipus complex theory, including the claim that girls wish for sexual contact with their fathers. In her writing she makes the observation that young girls are often involved in “mutually seductive” relationships with their violent fathers, and it is on the basis of such “research” that some courts have set their protocols. The Freudian legacy thus remains strong.”
Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

Anthony Burgess
“In a story you had to find a reason, but real life gets on very well without even Freudian motivations.”
Anthony Burgess, Earthly Powers

“Mathematics is the study of analogies between analogies. All science is. Scientists want to show that things that don't look alike are really the same. That is one of their innermost Freudian motivations. In fact, that is what we mean by understanding.”
Gian-Carlo Rota, Indiscrete Thoughts

Kamand Kojouri
“It’s so easy to lose faith and become lost in all of the politics of the world. That’s why we need the arts. To sublimate our frustration and anger into something beautiful. Freud called sublimation a virtuous defence mechanism because it is in the arts that we can find our humanity.”
Kamand Kojouri

Shannon Celebi
“I could say it all began with my mother.”
Shannon Celebi

Jed Rubenfeld
“Death releases the energy into air. If a true catastrophe is looming, the disturbance becomes such that a sensitive individual may become highly troubled by it. He may be aware exactly when and where it will occur. He may see an aura around people who are soon to die. Or he may see images of the disaster beforehand...”
Jed Rubenfeld, The Death Instinct

Karl R. Popper
“The difficulties connected with my criterion of demarcation (D) are important, but must not be exaggerated. It is vague, since it is a methodological rule, and since the demarcation between science and nonscience is vague. But it is more than sharp enough to make a distinction between many physical theories on the one hand, and metaphysical theories, such as psychoanalysis, or Marxism (in its present form), on the other. This is, of course, one of my main theses; and nobody who has not understood it can be said to have understood my theory.

The situation with Marxism is, incidentally, very different from that with psychoanalysis. Marxism was once a scientific theory: it predicted that capitalism would lead to increasing misery and, through a more or less mild revolution, to socialism; it predicted that this would happen first in the technically highest developed countries; and it predicted that the technical evolution of the 'means of production' would lead to social, political, and ideological developments, rather than the other way round.

But the (so-called) socialist revolution came first in one of the technically backward countries. And instead of the means of production producing a new ideology, it was Lenin's and Stalin's ideology that Russia must push forward with its industrialization ('Socialism is dictatorship of the proletariat plus electrification') which promoted the new development of the means of production.

Thus one might say that Marxism was once a science, but one which was refuted by some of the facts which happened to clash with its predictions (I have here mentioned just a few of these facts).

However, Marxism is no longer a science; for it broke the methodological rule that we must accept falsification, and it immunized itself against the most blatant refutations of its predictions. Ever since then, it can be described only as nonscience—as a metaphysical dream, if you like, married to a cruel reality.

Psychoanalysis is a very different case. It is an interesting psychological metaphysics (and no doubt there is some truth in it, as there is so often in metaphysical ideas), but it never was a science. There may be lots of people who are Freudian or Adlerian cases: Freud himself was clearly a Freudian case, and Adler an Adlerian case. But what prevents their theories from being scientific in the sense here described is, very simply, that they do not exclude any physically possible human behaviour. Whatever anybody may do is, in principle, explicable in Freudian or Adlerian terms. (Adler's break with Freud was more Adlerian than Freudian, but Freud never looked on it as a refutation of his theory.)

The point is very clear. Neither Freud nor Adler excludes any particular person's acting in any particular way, whatever the outward circumstances. Whether a man sacrificed his life to rescue a drowning, child (a case of sublimation) or whether he murdered the child by drowning him (a case of repression) could not possibly be predicted or excluded by Freud's theory; the theory was compatible with everything that could happen—even without any special immunization treatment.

Thus while Marxism became non-scientific by its adoption of an immunizing strategy, psychoanalysis was immune to start with, and remained so. In contrast, most physical theories are pretty free of immunizing tactics and highly falsifiable to start with. As a rule, they exclude an infinity of conceivable possibilities.”
Karl Popper

Sigmund Freud
“El primer humano que insultó a su enemigo en vez de tirarle una piedra fue el fundador de la civilización”
Sigmund Freud

“In Freud’s theory, the wish-producing, fear-generating power of these body parts lies within them, not, with their strategic position within a historically specific, male-dominant, phallus-favoring, social organization of powers, bodies, and symbols.”
Jonathan Ned Katz, The Invention of Heterosexuality

Geoffrey Nunberg
“The English language is shot through with idioms and expressions which allude to violence without inciting it, most of which pass without notice unless they're called to your attention. One of the most disingenuous moves in the incivility wars is to treat these expressions with a specious literalism; politics makes Freudians of us all. (205)”
Geoffrey Nunberg, Ascent of the A-Word: Assholism, the First Sixty Years

Rachel Kushner
“Άρχισαν τα πηγαδάκια. Η Γκλόρια σέρβιρε το επιδόρπιο. Ο Ντιντιέ ακούμπησε το τσιγάρο του στην άκρη του πιάτου με τα αμυγδαλωτά, σκορπίζοντας στάχτες και τρίμματα από αμυγδαλωτά και επιμένοντας ότι ο Φρόιντ είχε δίκιο όταν διατεινόταν ότι η γλώσσα είναι ο μοναδικός δρόμος προς το ασυνείδητο. Ο Στάνλεϊ αντέτεινε ότι η γλώσσα δόθηκε στον άνθρωπο για να κρύβει τις σκέψεις του και ότι το μόνο που μπορούσες να κάνεις με τις λέξεις ήταν να τις γυρίσεις στο πλάι όπως τα έπιπλα στη διάρκεια ενός βομβαρδισμού.”
Rachel Kushner, The Flamethrowers

Thomas C. Oden
“Niebuhr [Oden's Doctoral adviser at Yale and leading 20th century Christian theological ethicist] wanted all of his graduate students to have some serious interdisciplinary competence beyond theology, so I chose to be responsible for the area of psychology of religion. I hoped to correlate aspects of contemporary psychotherapies with a philosophy of universal history. The psychology that prevailed in my college years was predominately Freudian psychoanalysis, but my clinical beginning point in the late 1950's had turned to Rogerian client-centered therapy. The psychology that prevailed in my Yale years was predominantly the empirical social psychologists like Kurt Lewin and Musafer Sherif. I gradually assimilated those views in order to work on a critique of therapies and assess them all in relation to my major interest in the meaning of history.”
Thomas C. Oden, A Change of Heart: A Personal and Theological Memoir

“My whole life I’d lived off the one wretched ambition that still possessed me: to be more than I was; to reject and despise everything that was in my reach and to set goals I was incapable of reaching; to chase after emotions I was incapable of feeling; to seek out adventures I couldn’t live up to; to have a friendship that was no friendship, a love that was no love; ambitions yoked to a weak will, a will stuck in the mire of unfulfilled desire.”
Mela Hartwig, Am I a Redundant Human Being?

Paul La Farge
“As a Freudian, I'm not supposed to use words like evil; my business is with instinct, memory, and desire. Nevertheless, I've been wondering, lately, whether evil might exist. If it does, I've been thinking, it might be like what Freud called the navel of the dream, the place where all the lines of meaning the analyst has so carefully traced through the patient's life vanish into the unknown. But where the navel of the dream is essentially harmless phenomenon, a point where the dream's meaning is sufficiently understood, and further interpretation would be pointless, evil is a mystery with power. It reaches up into the world and makes everything mysterious.”
Paul La Farge, The Night Ocean

Joseph Conrad
“It was then that Brown took his revenge upon the world which, after twenty years of contemptuous and reckless bullying, refused him the tribute of a common robber’s success. It was an act of cold-blooded ferocity, and it consoled him on his deathbed like a memory of an indomitable defiance. . . . Thus Brown balanced his account with the evil fortune. Notice that even in this awful outbreak there is a superiority as of a man who carries right—the abstract thing—within the envelope of his common desires. It was not a vulgar and treacherous massacre; it was a lesson, a retribution—a demonstration of some obscure and awful attribute of our nature which, I am afraid, is not so very far under the surface as we like to think.”
Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim

Sigmund Freud
“The question of the purpose of human life has been raised countless times; it has never yet received a satisfactory answer and perhaps does not admit of one. Some of those who have asked it have added that if it should turn out that life has no purpose, it would lose all value for them. But this threat alters nothing. It looks, on the contrary, as though one had a right to dismiss the question, for it seems to derive from the human presumptuousness, many other manifestations of which are already familiar to us. Nobody talks about the purpose of the life of animals, unless, perhaps, it may be supposed to lie in being of service to man. But this view is not tenable either, for there are many animals of which man can make nothing, except to describe, classify and study them; and innumerable species of animals have escaped even this use, since they existed and became extinct before man set eyes on them.”
Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud
“We will therefore turn to the less ambitious question of what men themselves show by their behavior to be the purpose and intention of their lives. What do they demand of life and wish to achieve in it? The answer to this can hardly be in doubt. They strive for happiness; they want to become happy and to remain so. This endeavor has two sides, a positive and a negative aim. It aims, on the one hand, at an absence of pain and unpleasure, and, on the other, at the experiencing of strong feelings of pleasure. In its narrower sense the word 'happiness' only relates to the last. In conformity with this dichotomy in his aims, man's activity develops in two directions, according as it seeks to realize — in the main, or even exclusively — the one or the other of these aims.”
Sigmund Freud

Clarice Lispector
“but the crime is more important than the punishment. I enliven all of me in my happy instinct for destruction.”
Clarice Lispector

“Freud's ideas, as usual, turned out to be both remarkably prescient and utterly wrong.”
John Tierney, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength